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If the design industry in Wales is ‘growing up’ with the launch of its first Design Forum, how essential is the creation of a Welsh design centre right now?

A Welsh design centre is a good idea and would be well received by industry and the design and education sectors, but issues to address would be financial stability and doing it on a scale that attracts interest outside of Wales.

Gavin Cawood, Senior design adviser, Design Wales

The creation of a design centre isn’t what Wales needs just yet. There is a lot of good work going on, but the industry is still searching for its voice. The priority has to be to find it and use it to drive the design agenda in Wales.

Mathew Talfan, Managing director, 6721

A design centre is not the top priority right now, given that Wales has good university networks and initiatives, despite the lack of importance attached to design in schools. Bigger issues need to be tackled in an industry where risk aversion and disregard for design and creativity prevail, restricting innovation, competitive advantage and business growth.

Carole-Anne Davies, Chief executive, Design Commission for Wales

Projects like The Lighthouse in Glasgow have proved the benefits of a well-conceived design centre. There is every reason to assume that what is working well in Scotland and planned in Newcastle can work well in Wales too.

David Kester, Chief executive, Design Council

If Wales had a focus around design – call it a Welsh design centre – then maybe there would be a collective sense of design in Wales. Maybe it would halt the exodus of designers, and maybe there would be a strong voice to challenge the public sector procurement process that is prevalent in Wales.

Annabel Praeger, Design industry skills director, Creative and cultural skills

Devolution has brought a new confidence and interest in national identity to Wales. Design has a hugely important role to play in expressing Welsh life – not least in the iconic architecture in Cardiff Bay, including the National Assembly building and the Millennium Centre.

Sue Balsom, Managing director, FBA Group

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